TARPON SPRINGS - In 2014, The Shepherd Center distributed 675,000 pounds of food to those in need in north Pinellas County.
Volunteers and employees handed out 30,000 bags of groceries from the food pantry, served 26,000 meals at community kitchens and provided 1,700 Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners through Project T.H.A.N.K.S.
This year, in its new, larger building, the faith-based organization finally has the room to grow, literally and figuratively.
TARPON SPRINGS - With two new incentive grants, the Tarpon Springs City Commission is looking to attract new businesses and beautify the ones already in town.
The first, the CRA Restaurant Recruitment Grant, will help fund the repurposing of businesses into restaurants within the Community Redevelopment Area, which encompasses most of the buildings from Meres Boulevard to the Anclote River through the middle of Tarpon Springs.
The grant will pay for up to 50 percent of the cost of internal renovations, capped at $7,500.
TARPON SPRINGS - Another bar is coming to Tarpon Springs with the new Yard of Ale, expected to open in February.
Located at 606 N. Pinellas Ave., in place of the old Lagerheadz, the bar and restaurant will sell craft and national beers and food from burgers and sandwiches to “really good appetizers,” said owner Marcus Winters.
What sets his bars apart from many others, he said, are the games, including Giant Jenga and Connect Four.
TARPON SPRINGS - In the foreground of the Greek clergy and amidst a splash of scrambling teenagers, 18-year-old Kosta Pseftelis retrieved the Epiphany cross Jan. 6 in the 109th celebration in Tarpon Springs.
One of the largest Epiphany celebrations in the western hemisphere, the annual event commemorates the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan by John the Baptist
This is the third year that Pseftelis, a Tarpon Springs High School graduate currently attending St. Petersburg College, has participated in the Epiphany dive.
TARPON SPRINGS - At the makeshift memorial for Tarpon Springs Police Department Officer Charles “Charlie K” Kondek, people left flowers, signs, stuffed animals and balloons on Kondek’s police cruiser, all with the same message: thank you.
On Monday, a day after 45-year-old Kondek was shot while responding to a noise complaint at 199 Grand Blvd., and over the following days, hundreds of people turned up outside the Tarpon Springs Public Safety Facility to pay their respects. Others drove by, slowing their cars when they reached the driveway.
TARPON SPRINGS - Funeral services for Tarpon Springs police Officer Charlie Kondek are scheduled on Saturday, Dec. 27, 11 a.m., at Idlewild Baptist Church, 18333 Exciting Idlewild Blvd. in Lutz.
Cemetery services will follow immediately at Grace Memorial Gardens, 16931 U.S. 19, in Hudson.
Gov. Rick Scott has ordered that flags of the United States and the state of Florida be flown at half-staff at the Pinellas County Courthouse, Tarpon Springs City Hall, Tarpon Springs Police Department and the State Capitol in Tallahassee from sunrise to sunset in Kondek’s honor.
TARPON SPRINGS - Almost nine months after they installed the Ama mermaid at Craig Park, the Tarpon Springs Public Art Committee has already begun raising money to give the statue a permanent home.
Earlier in the year, French artist Amaryllis Batailleas created a customized sculpture for Tarpon Springs as part of her Amaryllis Art for Charity program, which places unique Ama mermaid statues around the world. Tarpon’s mermaid, which was unveiled on April 1, stands at 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 360 pounds. At the base of the statue, a small bronze plaque reflects the history of the city.